Nothing Beats Patti LaBelle Being Absolutely Fed Up While Singing ‘This Christmas’
"Let me see that card again darlin', LET ME SEE THAT CARDIGAN."
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But nothing brings me more joy than Patti LaBelle’s rendition of ‘This Christmas.’
Every year in December, something beautiful happens. And no, it’s not all the strangely horny Christmas songs climbing the charts again. It’s the captioned video of Patti LaBelle trying to sing at the 1996 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony resurfacing.
In the iconic clip, Patti LaBelle, who clearly doesn’t know all the lyrics to ‘This Christmas’, faces two main problems during her iconic performance: A real lack of background singers and muddled cue cards.
I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. I needed this. pic.twitter.com/2aQFpugdis
— deray (@deray) December 7, 2017
While she starts the song off strong, it all very soon starts to crumble.
Noticing the lack of backing vocals, LaBelle screams (in tune) “WHERE ARE MY BACKGROUND SINGERS?” during a break between lyrics.
Soon realising that the lyrics are wrong to what she had previously rehearsed, she then goes on to call out the cue card people.
“And it’s the wrong songs on the cue cards, I don’t know the song…. this Christmas,” LaBelle sings as the song continues to play.”I’m gonna ad-lib all I can, because I don’t have the right words and I have no background singers.”
— Mike Tague (@rhymeswithbeg) November 29, 2020
Growing more infuriated by the second, she again half-shouts and half-sings: “Where are my background singers?”
When the background singers finally chime in, they start to sing parts of the song they never previously rehearsed. I mean, in LaBelle’s defence she really does try to get though the performance, but she just can’t help but throw her hands up in the air and roll her eyes when none of it gets better.
Then, in what is undoubtedly the best part of the entire performance, LaBelle talks directly to the cue card people mid-song. “Let me see that card again darlin’, LET ME SEE THAT CARDIGAN,” she stressfully requests.
While hard to beat the captioned version, the full YouTube version is somehow even better:
The longer version features Patti LaBelle’s introduction, where she awkwardly comes in at the wrong time.
“We are privileged to have as our special honoured guest this evening, the dynamic Patti LaBelle,” John Betchkal takes to the podium to introduce the legend.
LaBelle, understandably, mistakes the pause following the opening line as her queue to come on stage. When John continues to speak about the singer’s achievements, she realises her mistake and ducks back behind the curtains.
After the disastrous performance with the missing background singers and messed up cue cards, Patti LaBelle then gets stuck as the literal president comes to the stage.
Uninstructed on where exactly to go, horns sound off as LaBelle rests her head in her hands in exasperation. As she’s still at the podium, President Clinton and the First Lady are introduced and Patti awkwardly claps as they make their way on stage.
Not to be dramatic, but it is the biggest shit show I have ever seen in my life. And I am obsessed.